For-profit

Google News Initiative

Project of:

Google

The Google News Initiative is a journalism training and funding project of Google, the California-based multinational technology company and subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc. The Google News Initiative was launched in 2018 and has provided over $189 million in funding to news organizations and journalist training programs. The project offers a variety of training tools centered around using technology and journalism.

The project has partnered with openly left-leaning news outlets such as Vox and The Guardian, as well as ostensibly mainstream metropolitan-liberal news sources including the Washington Post and the New York Times. [1]

Background

The Google News Initiative was founded in 2018 ostensibly to aid the journalism industry in its transition to predominately digital media and away from traditional print media. [2]

The project provides online and in-person training programs, fellowships, journalism school programs, and provides free data tools and cloud computing services to news organizations. The project partners with the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), a membership organization for journalists, as well as the Columbia University School of Journalism. [3]

Activity

As of late 2020, the Google News Initiative reported distributing more than $189 million to 6,250 news organizations in 118 countries. The project also reported that the COVID-19 pandemic sped up the need for journalists to use online tools. While Google as a search engine and tech giant has a complicated history of cooperation and competition with news providers, the company operates the initiative to support national and local media outlets and to combat the impression that Google is a “profits thief” of news organizations. The Google News Initiative has stated that in the future, the program will employ data and artificial intelligence tools to support more projects such as the initiative’s Local News Experiments Project, which funds and supports local news operations. [4]

Partnerships

The Google News Initiative works directly with national and local news outlets across the United States and internationally. The project also partners directly with many news industry organizations and nonprofits. [5]

Among its partners is the Society of Professional Journalists, an individual membership organization for journalists. The project also partners with national organizations including the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Native American Journalists Association, and the Asian American Journalists Association. [6]

The project also partners with the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a nonprofit that publishes the Tampa Bay Times and operates the controversial left-of-center PolitiFact fact-checking organization, which has received steady criticism for its left-leaning bias. [7] [8]

The project has additionally partnered with several other left-leaning news organizations such as Vox Media and The Guardian. [9] The Google News Initiative published a case study praising Vox’s use of Google Earth Studio. [10]

References

  1. “Partnerships.” Google News Initiative. Accessed July 2, 2021. https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/partnerships/ ^
  2. Shen, Er. “Google says its news project has funded $189M, 6,000 news partners.” Radio Canada International. November 21, 2020. Accessed July 2, 2021. https://www.rcinet.ca/en/2020/11/21/google-says-its-news-project-has-funded-189m-6000-news-partners/ ^
  3. “Programs.” Google News Initiative. Accessed July 2, 2021. https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/programs/ ^
  4. Shen, Er. “Google says its news project has funded $189M, 6,000 news partners.” Radio Canada International. November 21, 2020. Accessed July 2, 2021. https://www.rcinet.ca/en/2020/11/21/google-says-its-news-project-has-funded-189m-6000-news-partners/ ^
  5. “Partnerships.” Google News Initiative. Accessed July 2, 2021. https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/partnerships/ ^
  6. “2020.” Google News Initiative. Accessed July 2, 2021.  https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/2020 ^
  7. “2020.” Google News Initiative. Accessed July 2, 2021.  https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/2020 ^
  8. Williamson, Kevin D. “Politifact and Me.” National Review. February 26, 2015. Accessed July 2, 2021. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/politifact-and-me-kevin-d-williamson/ ^
  9. “Industry Partners.” Google News Initiative. Accessed July 2, 2021.  https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/partnerships/#industry-partners ^
  10. “Vox.” Google News Initiative. Accessed July 2, 2021.   https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/assets/static/docs/vox.pdf ^
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